The quarterback whisperer could be coming to the New York Giants. He seems headed in that direction, barring any bumps in the road or major detours.
The Giants’ coaching search has put the spotlight on Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Yes, the same Pat Shurmur who was the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator when Nick Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions in 2013. The same coach who helped Sam Bradford have a career year last season and Case Keenum enjoy the same this season.
This would seem to bode well for whomever the Giants’ quarterbacks are next season and beyond, whether it be Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold — and let’s not count out Keenum — or anyone else that might enter the picture. Shurmur was trained and raised in the NFL by Andy Reid, who himself is pretty good at mentoring quarterbacks. Shurmur worked under Chip Kelly, who seems to know a thing or two about that, as well.
Shurmur has put it all together to become a well-respected offensive mind. His résumé pops because of his quarterback expertise.
What might that mean for the Giants if he lands with New York?
Shurmur runs an offense that employs plenty of West Coast concepts. This would make the transition relatively smooth if the Giants and Shurmur elected to bring back Manning for at least one more season, which appears likely, as long as Manning is willing. And maybe Shurmur could get the most out of Manning. Manning hasn’t played particularly well the past two seasons, but maybe Shurmur could design an offense that gets the ball in the New York playmakers’ hands quickly. It’s not as if the Giants lack playmakers, with Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram leading the way. For Manning, this potential hire is a positive; it probably would increase his chances of remaining with the only team he has played with for at least another season.
The No. 2 pick
There is a strong chance the Giants will select a quarterback with the second-overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. Darnold and Rosen are considered top prospects, and this kind of opportunity doesn’t come around often. The Giants hope they won’t be drafting this high again next year; if they do, it wouldn’t bode well for Shurmur. When Shurmur was the head coach in Cleveland, the team did select a quarterback in the first round: The Browns took Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick in 2012. That didn’t work out well. But this time around, Shurmur’s team would have a much higher pick and a chance to find a franchise quarterback. One can see Shurmur looking for something akin to a Doug Pederson-Carson Wentz situation in New York.
Let’s not forget the Giants already have a young quarterback with a big arm and top-notch work ethic on their roster. Webb was last year’s third-round draft pick, and he is 22 years old. There is something there for Shurmur to work with and mold into a quality NFL starter. Webb might be the biggest beneficiary of all if Shurmur does make it to the Giants. Webb is bound to become a better player quickly while working with the quarterback whisperer.
Hey, Keenum is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. Who knows how that plays out, even if the Vikings reach the Super Bowl. It already has been reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Keenum could join Shurmur in a move if it is with a QB-needy team. The Giants could fall into that category if Manning sees the writing on the wall and decides not to return; it’s not out of the realm of possibilities.
Teddy Bridgewater? Bradford? Geno Smith? Who knows how this offseason will work out with GM Dave Gettleman, now in charge of personnel decisions for the Giants. But any quarterbacks who eventually land with the Giants would appear to be in good hands if Shurmur is there to work with them.